May
17
2018
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Sprinklr hires former fed CIO Vivek Kundra as COO

Sprinklr, the unicorn startup best known for helping customers interpret social signals has been moving into the broader customer experience market in the last year. Today it announced is was hiring a heavy hitter as Chief Operating Officer, bringing in former federal CIO and Salesforce executive Vivek Kundra. He began working at his new position just this week.

Kundra says that he sees a company that is in a good position and poised for growth. It will be part of his job to work with CEO Ragy Thomas to make sure that happens. “When I look at the 1200 customers we have today, I see a massive opportunity to provide technology to change the way [our users] interact with customers,” Kundra told TechCrunch.

He says that, with his background, whether working under President Obama or with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the focus has always been on the customer, however you defined that, whether in the context of delivering government services or selling cloud software.

He said that to achieve that you have to be ruthlessly focused on execution. “Ideas are cheap, but how do you bring them to life in a way that inspires and motivates? I think that’s really important,” he said.

It’s worth noting that Kundra is not the first COO, however. The company hired Tim Page, who was a founder and COO at VCE before joining Sprinklr in 2016. That was apparently not a good fit.

Thomas says that landing Kundra was part of an extensive 9-month executive search where they looked at people who had worked at SaaS companies that had scaled over a billion dollars in revenue, concentrating on Salesforce, Workday and ServiceNow. “If you look at people in the driver’s seat at those companies, there is a finite number of people. Salesforce is a great company and a great partner. That experience is relevant and unique,” Thomas said.

Kundra pointed out that as part of his responsibilities at Salesforce he built a business unit from scratch that included driving adoption for the company’s Government Cloud and other verticals. “Now I have ability to draw on those experiences,” he said.

Firming up the COO position, much like the CFO, is crucial ahead of going public. With the company valued at $1.8 billion in 2016, they would seem to be of sufficient size to make that move, but Thomas wasn’t ready to commit to anything definitive (much as you would expect).

Instead, he talked of building a strong foundation as preparation to become a public company at some point. “It’s a question of when, not if [we go public], but for a company of our size and scale, it’s logical for us to go public. We aren’t talking about when and how, and we are trying to pour a strong foundation [before we do]” he said. Bringing in Kundra appears to be part of that.

Feb
07
2018
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Akamai has laid off 400 workers or 5 percent of global workforce

 Akamai, the Cambridge Massachusetts content delivery network and network services provider, announced they had laid off 400 people in their earnings call with analysts yesterday.
On the call, Akamai CEO Tom Leighton indicated that the 400 people represented 5 percent of the company’s 8000 worldwide workforce. “As part of our effort to improve operational efficiency, we reduced… Read More

Feb
03
2018
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Storm Ventures brings on two new partners at enterprise-focused firm

 In a town full of venture capital firms, Storm Ventures has made its mark with a singular focus on the enterprise. This week, the company announced it has taken on two freshly minted partners, Arun Penmetsa and Paul Willard, to continue the mission. They are doubling the number of partners with this announcement. Penmetsa has been a principal at Storm for the last 3.5 years before being… Read More

Feb
01
2018
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MOVE Guides acquires Polaris Global Mobility to expand services for expats and relocation

 Relocation, relocation, relocation, as the saying (sort of) goes. On the heels of raising $48 million last year to tap into the growing needs of businesses to handle global workforces (a huge if sometimes controversial area of the job market), MOVE Guides today announced an acquisition to expand its footprint in the market and the services it offers to customers. The startup is buying up… Read More

Dec
02
2017
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20 critical startup truths no one will tell you

 Some knowledge is so important, everyone assumes everyone already knows it. But they don’t, especially in the tech world where things move so fast that most people are faking. But Stripe’s Patrick McKenzie spends his time helping the payment platform’s startup customers survive, and now he’s laid out 20 crucial learnings everyone should read. Click or scroll through… Read More

Dec
02
2017
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20 critical startup truths no one will tell you

 Some knowledge is so important, everyone assumes everyone already knows it. But they don’t, especially in the tech world where things move so fast that most people are faking. But Stripe’s Patrick McKenzie spends his time helping the payment platform’s startup customers survive, and now he’s laid out 20 crucial learnings everyone should read. Click or scroll through… Read More

Nov
21
2017
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Salesforce appoints Bret Taylor as chief product officer

Quip Chief Executive Officer Bret Taylor And Greylock Partners Partner John Lilly Interview Salesforce has named Bret Taylor, the former chief technology officer at Facebook and founder of Quip, as president and chief product officer. Taylor first joined Salesforce in 2016, when Salesforce acquired word processing app Quip for $750 million. As chief product officer, Taylor will be tasked with leading Salesforce’s product vision, design, development and launches. Read More

Nov
21
2017
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Meg Whitman out as CEO of HPE early next year

 Six years after taking the helm as head of HP, Meg Whitman will step down from her role as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in February 2018. Whitman’s spot will be filled by the company’s current president, Antonio Neri. Read More

Nov
02
2017
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Developer community Stack Overflow reportedly lays off 20% as it refocusses business

 Some changes are underway at Stack Overflow, the online community where some 50 million developers and others converge to talk programming and many other things. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that the startup has conducted a substantial number of layoffs across the company as it looks to steer the business more towards its core Q&A products and away from areas that were seeing… Read More

Sep
28
2017
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Facebook partners with ZipRecruiter and more aggregators as it ramps up in jobs

job listing Facebook has made no secret of its wish to do more in the online recruitment market — encroaching on territory today dominated by LinkedIn, the leader in tapping social networking graphs to boost job-hunting. Today, Facebook is taking the next step in that process. Facebook will now integrate with ZipRecruiter — an aggregator that allows those looking to fill jobs to post ads to… Read More

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